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Waiting a While

A woman in Ireland had to wait a year to undergo genetic testing, despite a family history of breast cancer, the Independent reports. It adds that Róisín Prizeman told her story as part of the Irish Cancer Society's focus on the dearth of funding for testing services. She eventually learned she carries a BRCA1 variant.

"We are deeply alarmed that the Government has consistently underfunded the National Cancer Strategy," Averil Power, chief executive of the Irish Cancer Society, tells the Independent. Some cancer services are now struggling more than before the strategy was published in July 2017."

Ireland's health service responded that both genetic counseling and testing are available for patients thought to have a genetic predisposition to cancer at two hospitals. At one, Crumlin Hospital, the spokesperson tells the Independent there are 548 patients waiting for a first appointment, most of whom have been waiting about three months, though 125 people have been waiting more than a year. "While there has been significant investment in the service, the demand for genetic assessment and testing had been growing rapidly," she adds.